by Amelia Rosch, AmeriCorps member on the Wellington Management team with Trotter Innovation School
If, in August, you would have told me that waking up at 5 a.m. four days a week would become a natural part of the routine and that I'd come to love the part of the day between 6:45 and 7:30 a.m., I probably would have laughed in your face. I have never been a morning person. However, my morning routine at City Year has becoming a major part of my experience. It grounds me.
I have to be at my school by 6:50 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. To accommodate this, the absolute latest I can be awake is 5:30 a.m. At first, I thought there was no way I could manage this. The last time I had woken up before 8 a.m. regularly was in high school. However, I now love taking my 6:08 a.m. bus because my bus driver greets me each morning, and if I don't go to the Dunkin' Donuts at Dudley Square, I feel a little bit off for the rest of the day. I’ve come to appreciate the few minutes before my team has our morning meeting when I use the time to read or journal; this small amount of time helps me ground myself before my usual busy days.
For me now, mornings are more than just getting to school.Morning greetings are one of my favorite parts of being in CityYear. Every morning, my team stands outside, plays music (a mix that includes Beyonce and Disney music) and cheers on students as they come to school. At first, I felt awkward during morning greetings. I was nervous about how students would respond to morning greetings; I went into my first morning greeting dreading it. However, as soon as the students saw us, smiles burst across their face. I can't even count the number of students who excitedly said hello and gave me high fives (or in the case of some youngest students, miss and hit me in the stomach). It gave me a huge rush, one that I realized I wanted to recapture. Our presence there, even if we were not totally sure what we were doing that first time, was making students excited to come to school. We help get students excited for a day that starts early in the morning and goes until late in the afternoon. As the first adults at the school that students see each morning, we get to help them start out their school days pumped up and ready to learn. It's a small thing, but I really do think it makes a difference.
Now, morning greeting is one of the most established parts of my routine. I love grabbing my coffee and zipping up my bomber before I head outside for that first half hour. If it's cold, the brisk air helps wake me up. If it's hot, I soak in the sun. It's all part of my morning routine, and I love it.